lurk in clouds of glowing hydrogen gas in
emission nebula is found near the edge of a
large molecular cloud, unseen at visible wavelengths,
in the southern
Ara, about 4,000 light-years away.
stars of the embedded Ara
were formed in that region only a few million years ago,
sculpting the dark shapes and
powering the nebular glow with
stellar winds and intense ultraviolet radiation.
formation itself was likely triggered by
winds and supernova explosions, from previous generations of massive
stars, that swept up and compressed the molecular gas.
Joining NGC 6188 on
is rare emission nebula NGC 6164,
also created by one of the region's massive O-type stars.
Similar in appearance to many
planetary nebulae, NGC 6164's striking,
symmetric gaseous shroud and faint halo surround
its bright central star at the upper right.
The field of view spans about two full Moons, corresponding to
70 light years at the estimated distance
of NGC 6188.
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